Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

I despise people who go to the gutter on either the right or the left and hurl rocks at those in the center.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

S North
E-W ♠ J 7 6 5
 A K
 10 9 8 7 2
♣ Q 9
West East
♠ K 10 8 3
 10 7 6
 6 5 3
♣ 8 7 6
♠ —
 Q 9 8 4 2
 A Q J 4
♣ A 10 4 3
♠ A Q 9 4 2
 J 5 3
♣ K J 5 2
South West North East
1 ♠ Pass 3 ♣ * 3
4 ♠ Pass Pass Dbl.
Pass Pass Rdbl. All pass

*limit raise with four trump


This deal from the second final session of the von Zedtwitz Life Master Pairs in Washington last summer was played by Rock Shin Yan. Yan was playing with Yichao Chen, whose jump to three clubs was a Bergen raise, showing four trump and limit-raise values. Strictly speaking it was not really up to him to redouble on an auction of this sort, since he had no obvious extras. However, he wanted to show that he had complete trust in his partner’s declarer play, and Yan rewarded that trust.

The opening lead of the heart six went to the king. Declarer knew that trumps would not be breaking, so it was important not to play on that suit. Instead he followed up by advancing the diamond 10, to the ace, king, and five. East exited with a heart to dummy’s ace and Yan now played the club queen to East’s ace. Yan won the club continuation with the king, ruffed a heart, ruffed a diamond and cashed the club jack.

He had reduced to a five-card ending where he had four trumps and a losing club in hand, while dummy had three trumps and a doubleton diamond. Meanwhile West had his four spades and a small diamond.

At this point South led his low spade from hand and West put in the eight to force the jack. Declarer won in dummy, ruffed a diamond low in hand, and exited with his club, to force West to ruff in with the 10 and lead into declarer’s trump tenace. That resulted in 10 tricks and +880 for declarer.

Although you have only four cards in partner’s suits, I’d prefer (I think) to give preference to hearts, not bid no-trump. It is admittedly tempting to bid three hearts, assuming all your values are pulling more than their weight. I would settle for two hearts, though, expecting partner to move if he has a king more than an opener. If that is not so, game rates to be delicate at best.


♠ J 7 6 5
 A K
 10 9 8 7 2
♣ Q 9
South West North East
  Pass 1 Pass
1 ♠ Pass 2 ♣ Pass

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Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2017. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact